Apply for Ontario Works

If you have little or no income, you may be eligible for support through Ontario Works. 

Types of Assistance

Emergency Assistance

Emergency Assistance is available for people who are in a crisis or who have experienced an emergency, such as a flood or a fire, or who are concerned for their safety.

Financial Assistance

Ontario Works provides assistance for individuals with financial need,  including support for expenses such as basic needs and shelter, along with other benefits.

Temporary Care Assistance

Temporary Care Assistance is available for temporary caregivers of children who are under the age of 18 who are not residing with their parents.

Assistance for applicants 16 and 17 years of age

Youth 16 or 17 years of age, not living with their parent(s), who require financial assistance, may qualify to receive Ontario Works.

Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) Program

If you are a young parent, you can apply for the LEAP program. This program helps you get your high school diploma and learn more about job skills and parenting.

How to Apply

If you live in Northumberland County, there are three ways you can apply for Ontario Works supports:

  1. Apply online in English or French.
  2. Call the provincial Intake and Benefits Administration Unit  to complete your application by phone. This service is available 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday by calling 1-888-999-1142.  This process takes approximately one hour to complete.
  3. Visit Northumberland County's Community & Social Services office at 555 Courthouse Road in Cobourg.

Before you apply

As part of completing your application, you will need to submit some or all of the following documentation to help determine your eligibility for Ontario Works supports. Please have the following items ready:

  • Birth certificate(s)
  • Social Insurance Number(s)
  • Health Card number(s)
  • Immigration details (if you were not born in Canada)
  • Cost of living (including rent, heat and hydro)
  • Bank account details
  • Employment details (if you are working or if you lost your job)
  • Details about any earnings and/or income

After you apply

If your application for support through Ontario Works is approved, a caseworker from Northumberland County Community & Social Services will contact you and invite you to a meeting to help you fill out necessary forms and discuss next steps.

If your application for support through Ontario Works is declined, you will receive a letter of confirmation in the mail. Consider contacting Northumberland County Community & Social Services at 1-800-354-7051 ext. 2468 to discuss whether there are alternative services that might provide some support.